Category Archives: Startup

Interview with Wulves team leader Julia Voortman

Check out the following interview with Wulves team leader Julia Voortman – and see Julia demo Wulves live at DemoCampHamilton18 this Monday September 29th at McMaster!

Wulves has also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help finish and improve the game!

 

How did you get into indie video game development?

When I was 10 years old, a friend introduced me to Horseland.com, which was/is a horse simulation game where you could breed and race virtual horses. I was absolutely crazy about horses at the time and spent hours playing, but eventually got bored and decided what I wanted to do was make a horse sim game myself. I knew absolutely nothing about game development at the time, but started writing down my ideas and looking for people to learn from and partner with. A girl from another sim game I played at the time could code and we found a couple of artists and after a few months we had a game: The Ultimate Horse. It was very simple and the graphics were terrible, but by the end of the summer we had about two thousand players and a little community of people who actually enjoyed playing what we made. I’ve been hooked making games ever since!

 

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What is Wulves?

So Wulves is primarily a virtual pet simulation, the goal is to successfully raise your wulf pups to adulthood by training and feeding them. It’s a creative game as well; players design their wulves themselves, choosing from the (currently) dozens of marking and body modification options and any colour available in a hex code. Eventually we’d like to release a feature giving players the ability to draw their own markings directly onto their wulves in the browser, and give them the option to save and share their new markings with other players. Wulves that make it to adulthood can then be bred with other wulves to create new wulf pups that draw characteristics from their parents (and grandparents, great-grandparents, etc). We have a pretty cool genetic system that make for some interesting offspring outcomes.

Secondarily, it’s a capture and collect game. The game currently has about sixty ‘wild wulflings’ that can be battled and captured while exploring. Wulves also has a few RPG elements; players enter the world of Elm, create their own citizen, join a professionhood to earn currency and level up through it’s ranks, interact with NPC’s, and participate in hidden object quests.

 

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Who is working on Wulves and how long has it been in development?

The ideas for Wulves have been kicking around for quite awhile, but we started actively developing about two years ago. A number of people have contributed over that period, but the main team has been myself and two developers from Albany, Patrick Warner and Beau Breedlove, as well as two really talented artists, Rennie Florence and Isabel Baele, from the US and Belgium respectively.

 

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What is new and exciting about Wulves compared to other browser-based pet games?

I think what’s cool about Wulves is that it gives players the fully fleshed out fantasy world of Elm to explore, with it’s own history and lore and a cast of characters to interact with. The focus is still definitely on the pet simulation aspect of the game, but I think it lends a special extra dimension you don’t find in a lot of games in the genre.

 

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How are you planning to monetize Wulves?

Wulves will be completely free to play; our plan is to monetize micro-transactionally by offering small upgrades and special items.

 

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Can you tell us about the Kickstarter campaign for Wulves?

Sure thing! We’ve just launched a Kickstarter to help fund us on the way to our first beta release. Our goal is to raise $6500 over the next 30 days to help cover the cost of developing our battling system, as well as any additional art assets, and a server upgrade. We’re aiming for a Wulves 1.0 in mid-February.

 

 

What advice do you have for people creating indie video games?

I feel like I haven’t been doing this long enough to be a giver of advice, so these can be taken with a grain of salt. But these are a couple things I’ve learned along the way,

1. At the outset, define the absolute necessities for your game to function, and then finish that before touching anything else. This is something I wish I’d been more disciplined about while developing Wulves, instead of letting myself get carried away polishing little side details, or redirecting development efforts toward cool new features as we thought of them or alpha players suggested them.

2. This one is equally applicable to projects other than game dev. Try not to make announcements about what you’re working on or plan to make, until you’ve made it. This was an eye-opening article for me: http://sivers.org/zipit. I break this one pretty consistently, but I’m working on it. :)

Editor’s note: woah, totally fascinating read!

3. Do your best to always be refuelling your ‘creativity bank’ by reading, watching movies, taking nature hikes, playing every game you can get your hands on. Sometimes the best game ideas or solutions to a problem come from really unexpected places.

 

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What is your long term plan for Wulves?

See #2, haha! A couple shorter term plans would be increased interactivity between the player and their wulves, and taking the game mobile.

 

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How has Hamilton and Platform 302 worked out for you as a place to create Wulves?

Platform 302 came for me at a point where I just could not go on working in my pajamas, feeling constantly like being ‘at work’ while at home, and chair-hogging at Starbucks just to get out of the house. I really can’t say enough about the value of being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs; the people there are just incredibly supportive and encouraging, and it’s very motivating to watch the growth of other young businesses. Currently I’m working for a company in Oakville as a web/graphic designer, but I’d love to eventually come back to Platform. We’ll see how things go! :)

 

REfficient Takes on Mexico’s Telecom Market with CDMN Funding

refficientlogoHamilton, Ontario – September 2, 2014 – REfficient will participate in the Canadian Digital Media Network’s (CDMN) Outbound Soft-Landing Fall 2014 Program to help forge the partnerships and connections it needs for international expansion.

REfficient is an online marketplace to source quality telecom and AV equipment affordably and sustainably. Companies get access to other business’ surplus inventory, manufacturers’ surplus and new product with environmental designations. Founded in 2010, REfficient now has customers in 12 companies and in the last year has ensured over 30,000 products were reused. All of Canada’s major cable/telecom companies are now customers.

As telecom operators in Latin America go through technology upgrades, REfficient’s refurbished equipment enables these companies to save money on quality equipment. “We already have customers in Latin America, but we have literally scratched the surface. The market potential in Mexico alone is at least ten times that of Canada,” says REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty. REfficient applied to the Soft Landing program because of the resources needed to be successful in these markets. “The key is not only to have potential customers know you, but also to build relationships and trust. This is a critical part of doing business in Latin America and this requires resources.”

CDMN’s Soft-Landing Program helps mature startups and SMEs kickstart their international growth by helping them access a foreign market. For a period of up to three months, the participating company can take up residence in a partnered facility that provides the regional support required to help grow its business, as well as receiving up to $4,000 in travel and hotel costs.

“The Soft-Landing Program has already resulted in millions of dollars in new business and investment for our participating companies and generated more than a 30x return on CDMN’s investment of funds and resources,” said Kevin Tuer, CDMN’s Managing Director. “International expansion is more important than ever as a driver of wealth and job creation for the Canadian economy. Our success to date demonstrates the tremendous impact that even a modest investment in global business development can have.”

About the CDMN Soft Landing Program

The Outbound Soft Landing Program runs three times a year and companies must meet a range of criteria, including having a technology product or service that is market ready and has foreign market potential. CDMN also operates an Inbound Soft Landing Program for non-Canadian companies looking to break into the Canadian market. For more information, please visit www.cdmn.ca/soft-landing-program/overview/

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient platform for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and www.facebook.com/REfficient.

Media Contact
Mindy Tweedle
Tweedle Productions Inc.
905-512-6514
mindy@tweedleproductions.com

McMaster startup QReserve awarded $25k from OCE

QHamilton, Ontario, September 2, 2014 — McMaster University startup, QReserve Inc., is excited to be awarded $24,896 through Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE) SmartStart program to introduce its publicly available research equipment database platform to universities and colleges across Canada.

“Every year, the federal and provincial governments invest millions of dollars in research tools and resources”, says QReserve Inc.’s CEO, Brandon Aubie. “This funding from OCE will help us help researchers and industry better utilize these resources. The QReserve platform works as a search engine for research equipment and we plan to bring it into university and college campuses across Ontario and the rest of Canada starting this fall.”

QReserve was founded in March of this year by McMaster University PhD graduate, Dr. Brandon Aubie, and McMaster University professors Dr. Fred Capretta and Dr. John Brennan. Their service provides universities and colleges with a turn-key research equipment database platform that is automatically connected with other institutions. This enables students, researchers and industrial users to discover and access resources across campuses and research institutions.

Dr. Capretta explains the impact QReserve’s resource database will have on Canadian researchers: “Obtaining funding for research gets harder and harder every year. So when a university purchases new equipment it’s more important than ever that it gets utilized to its full potential. With QReserve we’re helping people to find this equipment and encouraging collaborative use of existing resources. Bottom line is we’re trying to help research get done and save money at the same time.”

Their proof-of-concept platform was launched this summer at McMaster University containing nearly 300 pieces of equipment and research services and is quickly gaining traction. Aubie adds, “We’ve demonstrated a clear need for this service and are excited to add thousands of new resources for students, researchers and industrial users across the country to discover”.

QReserve is free to access at www.qreserve.com.

 

About QReserve Inc.

QReserve Inc. was founded in 2014 at McMaster University with the aim of making research equipment and resources more accessible to students, faculty and industry. The company provides an open-access online platform for cataloguing and searching research equipment and services across university and college campuses and industrial research service providers. QReserve’s search platform integrates with existing university technology infrastructures to provide a turn-key internal institutional resource database that automatically integrates with other institutional databases. QReserve currently operates out of the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at www.onebusiness.ca.

3StyleAvenue rounds out mobile app development offering with Weever Apps

3sHamilton, Canada — (ReleaseWire) — 08/25/2014 – 3StyleAvenue Bespoke Digital Agency is now utilizing Weever Apps’ patented application framework to round out their digital solutions offering. With offices in New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan, and with clients including Samsung and LG, 3StyleAvenue wanted to build out their end-to-end digital services by enhancing their focus on mobile solutions.

“Going Mobile is not an option anymore,” says Calvin Cai, Founder 3StyleAvenue, “and we want to be the best at translating digital experiences to the mobile landscape.” Currently over 50% of time spent on the Internet is through mobile devices and this is expected to increase to over 90% by 2017, according to Statista.com.

The Weever Apps framework helps agencies go from Concept-to-Demo-to-App in less time, so they can spend more time thinking about the solution and less time building it. The framework is used to develop apps in 65 countries and a total of 11 languages to date around the world.

“We love the flexibility of the Weever Apps solution,” explains Calvin. “We can develop and deploy web-based and published applications with very little effort. The functionality is all there, so we can spend our time more on strategy, design and shaping the user experience.”

The worldwide partnership will include expansion of Weever Apps’ platform into Asia through 3StyleAvenue’s client network. 3StyleAvenue will maintain the client relationship, including consultation and front-end design, while Weever Apps will provide back-end consultation, development and direct technical support.

With a focus on mobile use cases and architecture, 3StyleAvenue thrives on delivering seamless experience to help their client’s brands stand above others. Mobile development is another way 3StyleAvenue boosts client’s digital marketing presence. 3StyleAvenue works through a consultative process to understand client challenges and design mobile solutions that work to solve them.

“Our clients are realizing the power of mobile solutions,” concludes Calvin, “It’s helping them be more productive and efficient – and they’re seeing immediate results.”

 

About 3StyleAvenue

3StyleAvenue is a full service digital agency. Think strategy, innovation, marketing and media, but solely focused around online and the digital world. We believe that digital is at the forefront of commercial marketing and requires experts in the field to guide business’ forward.

Rather than just treat ‘online’ as an extension of your traditional marketing approach, 3StyleAvenue will help your business work for you with an approach specifically targeted towards online. The digital world is continuously evolving; 3StyleAvenue will ensure that your brand is at the forefront of this evolution and help you to drive leadership within your industry.

Rather than choose an agency that treats digital as a second priority, choose an agency where digital business is their core objective. True to our motto, “We build businesses, not just websites”.

Weever Apps: To learn more go to weeverapps.com email hello@weeverapps.com or call 800-299-0623.

Contact:
Andy Pritchard
Marketing Manager
andy@weeverapps.com
906-630-7939 or 800-299-0623

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/3styleavenue-bespoke-digital-agency-rounds-out-their-mobile-application-development-offering-with-weever-apps-540500.htm

Media Relations Contact
Andy Pritchard
Marketing Manager
Weever Apps
Telephone: 906-630-7939
Email: Click to Email Andy Pritchard
Web: http://Weeverapps.com/

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/pr/2142405#ixzz3BkE4b97O

Mabel’s Labels ROWE policy attracts national media attention

mabels

 

Last year Hamilton-based e-commerce firm Mabel’s Labels (@mabelhood) implemented a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) policy:

 

 

Since then the policy has attracted national media attention, in particular with Alex Pineda’s (@alexpineda77) working trip through Europe being cited as an example. If you haven’t seen it already, check out coverage of the ROWE policy in The Globe and Mail and CBC’s The Exchange with Amanda Lang:

Travel the world and still get a paycheque: The allure of a results-only workplace – The Globe and Mail

Results-only workplace – The Exchange with Amanda Lang

 

Weever Apps helps CFL PA save time and money with mobile forms

Hamilton, ON — (SBWIRE) — 07/18/2014 – The mobile forms app market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world today because companies are realizing the inherent advantages of converting their paper forms to mobile forms. Keeping up with that trend can be a daunting task for many firms. Fortunately, business owners can now get up to speed quickly and affordably with the help of Weever Apps.

By helping clients to evolve from paperwork to mobile forms, Weever Apps can build productivity, accelerate “quote to cash” timelines and reduce errors – including the headaches they cause. Mobile Forms allow employees to enter information into a form using any mobile device and, because they are using a tablet instead of paper, they can add pictures, GPS locations, contact dispatch and more…

According to Steve McBride, co-founder and CEO of Weever Apps, businesses can experience many immediate benefits by switching to Weever Apps’ mobile forms. “In many cases, clients are simply looking for digitized versions of their paper forms,” he explains. “We like to think of that as an evolution rather than a revolution. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to realize exceptional business results. We like to think of our solution as the simplest-to-use on the market.”

 

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Increased real-time data accuracy was particularly noticeable in one assignment Weever Apps put together for the Canadian Football League Players’ Association. Weever Apps developed an app for them that enabled players to use mobile forms to sign up with the league and arrange things like equipment sizes, guest appearances and medical clearances.

“The CFLPA Mobile app has exceeded my expectations.” says Susan Gordon, VP Sales & Marketing for the CFL Players Association. “It has had an immediate impact in improved efficiencies by integrating DocuSign signatures inside the mobile app, thereby reducing administrative work and giving players access to critical documents while traveling. We plan to further expand the number and type of forms for even more productivity benefits.”

McBride adds, “It really accelerated the process. With our apps, there’s no need for faxes or scanning that might require info to be retyped and result in mistakes.”

Weever Apps can develop mobile forms easily with its innovative mobile app software platform, which can integrate form data and DocuSign secure e-signatures from any mobile device. It can also incorporate a cloud database to securely store all the data that’s collected and provide it to admin users through a user-friendly account manager. Weever Apps’ patented technology is compatible with all touch phones and tablets including Apple, BlackBerry 10, Windows 8 and Android.

“We give our clients the ability to reduce paper but we also enable them to collect, manage and share data in real time on any device, wherever they happen to be.” says McBride.

Many business functions become a snap with the help of Weever Apps’ mobile forms. For example, some firms are heavily dependent on collections to achieve a stable cash flow. Without a dependence on paper, collections can now be done in a matter of hours – rather than weeks. Sales becomes a much easier process. When they’re out on the road, salespeople can easily access actionable data, such as price lists, while managers can track their location using GPS functionality.

Affordability is another big selling point. Weever Apps provides professional services app development as well as a monthly subscription service, which allows clients to build their own mobile forms without any programming experience and can be deployed the same day and at a minimal monthly subscription cost.

McBride concludes, “Our clients are starting to realize the power of mobile forms. It’s helping them be more productive and efficient. They’re seeing immediate results.”

For more information visit WeeverApps.com/MobileForms. To contact directly email Hello@weeverapps.com or call 1-800-299-0623.

 

About Weever Apps

Weever Apps is an innovative smartphone applications company headquartered in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Since it was first established in 2011, Weever Apps has developed apps for many large and medium-sized firms such as London Life, the City of Hamilton, Foresters Insurance, McMaster University and Allergan Canada. To date, clients in over 65 countries around the world use the Weever Apps platform to create their own apps.

Contact

Andy Pritchard
Marketing Manager
andy@weeverapps.com
906.630.7939 or 1(800) 299-0623

CareGo charity golf tournament raises $22,700 for north-end neighbourhood

caregoHAMILTON, ONTARIO – CareGo’s 15th annual golf tournament raised $22,700 for programs and services provided by the Robert Land Community Association in Hamilton’s north-end.

More than 100 golfers hit the links at Century Pines Golf Club in Flamborough on June 20, including CareGo staff and their family members, suppliers, customers and business associates. The cost of the tournament is covered by CareGo, so all funds from golf registrations and sponsorships are directed to Robert Land Community Association.

“It’s our company’s 15th anniversary and we’ve held the tournament every year since 1999,” says Demetrius Tsafaridis, president and CEO of CareGo. “This year we set a record with the highest number of golfers and more money raised than any year previous.”

Tsafaridis said the generosity of suppliers and customers was outstanding, with each hole sponsored and prizes provided for every golfer.

“I’m thrilled by the amount raised,” said Don MacVicar, founding president of the Robert Land Community Association, who attended the tournament. “The funds provided by CareGo through this tournament have made an incredible difference in the Keith neighbourhood, as we are continuing to create new educational opportunities and a brighter future for the families in this community.”

The Robert Land Community Association provides programs and services through the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre on Wentworth Street North. It is the home of the Literacy Express, a refurbished rail dining car turned into a literacy and learning centre.

Golfers in the winning foursome, with a score of eight under par, were Demetrius Tsafaridis, Bruce Gabel and Greg Gabel from IPC Securities, and Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie.

CareGo (www.carego.com) provides optimization/automation technology and distribution services for steel and other heavy products. It was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Hamilton.

CONTACT: Cynthia Janzen, Vice President, Communications, 905-308-3489, cjanzen@carego.com

 

Interview with Chris Lange creator of Scratch This

Check out the interview below with Chris Lange, creator of the new Scratch This app!

 

chris-langeTell me about yourself.

I am a fourth year Mechatronics engineering student. My favorite hobbies include fishing skateboarding and kiteboarding but in my free time I’m always coming up with new ideas to try and make some money.

 

What is Scratch This?

Scratch This! Is an android application that rates Ontario scratch card lotteries in order to allow users to choose the lottery that would give them the best bang for their buck. The lotteries are ranked by an algorithm that incorporates publicly available data such as current prizes remaining and expected number of printed tickets.

 

Why did you decide to develop Scratch This?

I’ve always done my research before making any kind of purchase and I realized that many scratch card players don’t realize that many of the prizes they are hoping to win have already been claimed. I wanted to create an easy and convenient way to show users which lotteries had the most prizes available, the most money available and the least amount of tickets printed per dollar spent.

 

Who do you expect to use Scratch This?

I expect everyone that buys scratch cards and who know about my app to use it. Right now there’s a $4 cash for life with a top prize of $500! I think the price of my app is very reasonable if it helps users avoid lotteries like this that do not have many prizes left.

 

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What is your plan to get the word out about Scratch This?

I am still figuring out how to advertise this app. Normally you can show popular blogs and reach a large audience but in my case I need to market Ontario specifically. Im hoping to find some popular local blogs and maybe even get featured on a local news network.

 

How can people get Scratch This? Is there a free and/or paid version? What does the premium version include? How do you plan to monetize the app?

There is a free and paid version available on the Google Play Store. The free version limits users to five non consecutive days of use. The paid version is $4 but allows unlimited use.

 

Where do you seeing Scratch This going in the future?

I’m using Ontario as a test market. If this app takes off I plan to incorporate other provinces and possibly an iOS application too.

 

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